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History of the reconstruction measures of the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth Congresses, 1865-68 online

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OF THE

UNIVERSITY
OF




OF THE

UNIVERSITY



OF




i by A H Bite nie



HISTORY



OF THE



RECONSTRUCTION MEASURES



OP THE



THIRTY-NINTH AND FORTIETH CONGRESSES.



1865-68.



BY HENRY WILSON.



HARTFORD:

PUBLISHED BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY, BY THE

HARTFORD PUBLISHING COMPANY

J. A. STODDARD, CHICAGO, ILL.

HAWKS & CO., BOSTON.

1868.



x? 531 *

Oi-

UNl\



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by the

HARTFORD PUBLISHING COMPANY,
in the Clerk s Office of the District Court of Connecticut



Electrotyped by

LOCKWOOD & MANDEVILLE,
HARTPOBD, CONN.



PREFACE.



THE sudden collapse of the rebellion in the Spring of
1865, precipitated upon the country the questions of re
construction, restoration and reconciliation. The Presi
dent, without consulting Congress, early assumed the task
of initiating measures for restoring the rebel States to their
practical relations to the Government. On entering upon
that work, the President assured hesitating political friends
that he was entering upon an experiment ; that if it failed,
the power to correct errors and mistakes would remain in
Congress. The policy inaugurated by the President placed r
the rebellious States, that were without civil governments /
when hostilities ceased, completely under the control of the /
active supporters of the rebellion. Instead of referring)
the whole matter to Congress, the President assumed that)
his policy was eminently successful. He resolved to \
adhere to it, leaving to Congress simply the question of
passing upon the qualifications of Senators and Represent- \
atives. Congress, believing that the power to initiate
proceedings for the restoration of civil governments in the
rebellious States was vested in the legislative, not the ex
ecutive department of the government, and that the results

1 72402






IV PREFACE.

of the President s policy endangered the rights of the
people and the authority of the nation, entered upon a
series of legislative measures intended to secure the rights
and privileges of the freedmen, protect those who had
remained loyal to the Government, preserve order and put
those States under the control of men loyal to the country,
to liberty and justice. Measures were introduced, dis
cussed, and some of them enacted into laws, to secure the
desired ends of restoring the unity of the country and
establishing the equality of rights and privileges of citizens
of the United States. My purpose in this work has been
to narrate with brevity and impartiality this legislation of
Congress, and to give the positions, opinions and feelings
of the actors in these great measures of legislation. I
have endeavored to record with fidelity and fairness these
Keconstruction Measures of Congress, and I present this
volume to the public in the hope that it will be of some
little interest to the readers of the history of these eventful
times in our country.

HENEY WILSON.




CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

PAGE.

RECONSTRUCTION COMMITTEE.

The 38th Congress expired. The 39th met. Mr. Stevens Resolution.
Mr. Eldridge. Mr. Dawson. Resolution passed. Resolution con
sidered in caucus. Resolution taken up in the Senate. Motion of
Mr. Anthony to amend. Mr Howard s speech. Mr. Anthony s
speech. Mr. Doolittle s speech. Mr. Fessenden s speech. Amend
ment agreed to. Mr. Cowan moved to amend. Remarks of Mr.
Saulsbury, Mr. Hendricks, and Mr. Trumbull. Mr. Dixon. Speech
of Mr. Guthrie. Amendment rejected. Mr. Stevens. Joint Com
mittee. Resolution, Mr. "Wilson of Iowa. Mr. Anthony and Mr.
Cowan. Speech of Mr. Howe. Mr. Johnson s speech. Mr. Doolit
tle s speech. Mr. Nesmith s speech. Mr. Wade s speech. Mr.
Howe s speech. 13

CHAPTER II.

RECONSTRUCTION. PRESIDENT S MESSAGE.

Mr. Stevens motion agreed to. Debate on Reconstruction. Spccch-of -
Mr. Stevens. Mr. Finck s_ Speech. Mr. JSa.ymoEuL Mr. Bingham.
Speech" ~oT~ Mr. Spaulding. Speech of Mr. Latham. Mr. Elaine.
Mr. Shellabarger s Speech. Mr. Voorhees Resolution. Speech of
Mr. Voorhees. Mr. Bingham s Speech. Motion to amend. Refer
red. Speech of Mr. Deming. Mr. Smith. Mr. Baker s Speech.
Mr. Broomall s Speech. Mr. Hubbell s Speech. Mr. Randall. Mr.
Lawrence. Mr. Stillwell. Mr. Welker. Mr. Henderson. Mr. Kelso.



VI CONTENTS.

PAGE.

Speech of Mr. Ward. Speech of Mr. Newell. Remarks of Mr.
Strouse. Mr. Defrecs. Mr. Cook. Resolutions of Mr. Broomall.
Mr. Cullom s Speech. Mr. Clarke s Speech. Mr. Plantz s Speech.
Mr. Beaman s Speech. Mr. Bromwell s Speech. Mr. Me Kee s
Speech. Mr. Thornton s Speech. Remarks of Mr. Kuykendall, and
Mr. Finck. Mr. Orth. Speech of Mr. Stevens. - - - 42



CHAPTER HI.

TO PROTECT PERSONAL FREEDOM.

Mr. Wilson s bill. Mr. Cowan s motion. Mr. Wilson s speech. Speech
of Mr. Johnson. Speech of Mr. Cowan. Speech of Mr. Wilson.

Remarks of Mr. Sherman, of Mr. Saulsbury, of Mr. Trumbull.

Speech of Mr. Sumner. Remarks of Mr. Saulsbury. Remarks of
Mr. Cowan. Speech of Mr. Stewart. Speech of Mr. Wilson. Re
marks of Mr. Stewart. Speech of Mr. Wilson. Speech of Mr.
Saulsbury. 105



CHAPTER IV.

CIVIL RIGHTS.

Mr. Sumner s bill. Mr. Wilson s bill. Mr. Trumbull s bill. Mr. Trum-
bull s speech. Mr. McDougall. Mr. Trumbull s amendment modi
fied. Mr. Johnson s speech. Mr. Lane s motion to amend Mr. Trum
bull s amendment. Speech of Mr. Morrill. Mr. Guthrie. Mr. Lane.
Mr. Wilson. Mr. Cowan. Mr. McDougall. Mr. Trumbull s reply
to Mr. Hendricks and Mr. Cowan. Passage of the bill. The bill
considered in the House. Mr. Wilson s speech. Mr. Raymond. Mr.
Dumont s motion to amend. Mr. Washburn s motion to amend. Mr.
Bingham s motion to amend. Mr. Shellabarger s speech. Mr. Wil
son s speech. Closing debate. Passage of the bill. Concurrence
of the Senate. The President s veto. Passage of the bill in Senate
and House over the veto. -117

CHAPTER Y.

THE FREEDMEN S BUREAU.

Mr. Eliot s resolution for appointment of Select Committee. Mr. Loon s
resolution. Mr. Eliot s bill. Mr. Doolittle s bill. Mr. Trurnbull s



CONTENTS. Vll

PAGE.

bill. Mr. Howe. Mr. Trumbull s amendment. Mr. Cowan s amend
ment. Speech of Mr. Guthrie. Mr. Pomeroy. Mr. Creswell. Mr.
Wilson. Mr. Cowan. Mr. Davis amendment. Mr. Fessenden s
amendment his speech. Mr. Creswell. Mr. Willey. Mr. Davis.
Passage of the bill. Action in the House. Speech of Mr. Eliot.
Mr. Dawson. Mr. Donnelly. Mr. Garfield. Mr. McKee. Amend
ment disagreed to. Mr. Stevens substitute rejected. Substitute
of Committee accepted. Passage of the bill. Senate. Speeches
of Mr. Guthrie Mr. Sherman Mr. Henderson Mr.Trumbull Mr.
McDougall. Mr. Guthrie s amendment rejected. Concurrence of
the House. Mr. Davis speech on the veto. Mr. Trumbull. Pas
sage of the bill. 148



CHAPTER VI

BUREAU OF FREEDMEN AND REFUGEES.

Bill reported by Mr. Eliot. Mr. Stevens amendment. Mr. Davis*
amendment. Mr. Shellabarger s amendment agreed to. Amend
ments of Mr. Davis and Mr. Scofield. Mr. Shellabarger s amendment
agreed to. Passage of the Bill. Bill reported to the Senate by Mr.
Wilson, with amendments. Mr. Wilson s speech. Amendments.
Debate by Mr. Hendricks. Mr. Trumbull. Speech of Mr. Fes-
senden. Passage of the Bill. Committee of Conference. Confer
ence report by Mr. Wilson. Report of Mr. Eliot. President s veto
message. Passage of the bill. 184



CHAPTER VH.

REBEL DEBT CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
Resolution of Mr. Farnsworth reported by Mr. Wilson with amend
ments. Amendment agreed to. Debated by Mr. Wilson, Mr. Rog
ers, Mr. Farnsworth, Mr. Rousseau, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Higby, Mr.
Sloan, Mr. Niblack and Mr. Randall. Resolution passed. Reso
lution by Mr. Sumner. Resolution by Mr. Wilson. Speech by Mr.
Wilson. 195



Vlll CONTENTS.



CHAPTER VIII.

RIGHTS OF CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES.
Resolution reported by Mr. Bingham to amend Constitution. Speech
of Mr. Bingham, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Higby, Mr. Randall, Mr. Kelley,
Mr. Hale, Mr. Davis, Mr. Woodbridge. Remarks of Mr. Conkling.
Mr. Hotcbkiss. Mr. Conkling s motion to postpone. Mr. Eldridge s
motion. Consideration postponed. - 200



CHAPTER IX.

REPRESENTATION.

Concurrent Resolution reported by Mr. Stevens on admission of Sen
ators and Representatives from rebel States. Mr. Grider s minority
report. Speech of Mr. Eldridge. Mr. Stevens. Resolution passed.
In the Senate Mr. Fessenden called up the Resolution. Debated by
Messrs. Cowan, Fessenden, Johnson, Trumbull, Davis, Dixon,
Sherman, Doolittle, Howe, Johnson. Speech of Mr. Fessenden,
Mr. Sherman, Mr. Dixon. Remarks of Mr. Trumbull, Mr. Dix
on and Mr. Howard. Speech of Mr. Nye, Mr. Stewart, Mr. John
son. Mr. Hendricks moved an amendment. Speech of Mr. Wade,
Mr. Cowan, Mr. Davis, Mr. Doolittle, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Fessenden,
Mr. McDougall. Resolution passed. - - - 206



CHAPTER X.

BASIS OF REPRESENTATION CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS.

Mr. Stevens Joint Resolution. Mr. Stevens speech. Speech of Mr.
Rogers, Mr. Conkling, Mr. Elaine, Mr. Kelley, Mr. Donnelly, Mr.
Brooks. Mr. Baker s amendment. Speech of Mr. Jenckes. Mr.
Shellabarger s amendment. Mr. Eliot s amendment. Mr. Schenck s
amendment. Speech of Mr. Pike. Remarks of Mr. Kelley. Speech
of Mr. Eldridge, Mr. Bingham. Mr. BroomalPs amendment. Speech
of Mr. Ward. Mr. Schenck s substitute rejected. Joint Resolution
adopted. Considered in the Senate. Mr. Sumner s speech. Mr.
Henderson s motion to amend Mr. Sumner s amendment. Speech of
Mr. Fessenden, Mr. Lane, Mr. Johnson. Mr. Sumner s amendment.
Speech of Mr. Henderson, Mr. Clarke, Mr. Williams. Mr. Howard s



CONTENTS. IX

PAGE.

amendment. Speech of Mr. Wilson, Mr. Pomeroy, Mr. Saulsbury,
Mr. Sumner, Mr. Morrill. Remarks of Mr. Fessenden. Mr. Sher
man s amendment. Mr. Clark s amendment. Mr. Grimes and Mr.
Sumier s amendments. Mr. Wilson s amendment. - - - 218



CHAPTER XL

AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION.

Mr. Stevens report from Joint Committee. The amendment. Speech
of Mr. Stevens. Remarks of Mr. Garfield, Mr. Thayer, Mr Boyer,
Mr. Schenck, Mr. Broomall, Mr. Raymond, Mr. Boutwell, Mr. Spaul-
ding. Speech of Mr. Eliot. Remarks of Mr. Dawes. Resolution
passed tte House. Remarks of Mr. Howard. Mr. Wade s Amend
ment. Mr. Wilson s amendment. Mr. Clark s amendment. Mr.
Buckalew 3 amendment. Mr. Howard s amendment. Mr. Doolittle s
amendment to Mr. Howard s amendment rejected. Mr. Van Winkle s
motion to amend. Speech of Mr. Poland, Mr. Howe, Mr. John
son. Mr. Yates amendment. Motion of Mr. Clark. Mr. Fessen-
den s amendment. Passage of the Resolution. .... 244



CHAPTER XII.

NEGRO SUFFRAGE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
Mr. Wade s Bill. Mr. Kelley s Bill. Mr. Wade s Bill reported with
amendments. Recommitted. Speech of Mr. Kelley, Mr. Bingham,.
Mr. Grinnell, Mr. Julian, Mr. Boutwell. Remarks of Mr. Howard.
Mr. Schenck s motion agreed to. Passage of the Bill. Senate.
Mr. Wade s Bill reported with amendments. Mr. Morrill s motion.
Mr. Wilson s motion to amend Mr. Morrill s amendment. Remarks
of Mr. Grimes. Mr. Anthony s motion to amend Mr. Kelley s amend
ment. Speech of Mr. Wilson, Mr. Anthony. Mr. Cowan s motion
his amendment and speech on female suffrage. Speech of Mr.
Wade. Remarks of Mr. Frelinghuysen, Mr. Brown, Mr. Davis, Mr.
Sprague, Mr. Buckalew. Speech of Mr. Foster, Mr. Wilson. Re
marks of Mr. Hendricks. Speech of Mr. Lane, Mr. Sumner. Mr.
Dixon s Reading and Writing amendment rejected, Mr. Wilson s
amendment agreed to. Bill passed. Bill taken up in the House and
passed. Veto Message. Passage of the Bill over the Veto. - - 266



CONTEN TS.



CHAPTER XIII.

SUFFRAGE IN THE TERRITORIES,

Mr. Ashley s Bill. Motion of Mr. Le Blond. Remarks of Mr. Spauid-
ing and Mr. Le Blond. Bill passed. Mr. Wade reported House Bill
with amendments. Motion of Mr. Buckalew. Speech of Mr. Wt.de,
Remarks of Mr. Buckalew. Speech of Mr. Saulsbury. Bill post
poned. Mr. Wade s substitute. Amendment modified. Bill passed.
Mr. Wade s motion. Mr. Ashley s motion. House concurred. 298

CHAPTER XIV.

THE ADMISSION OF TENNESSEE.

Joint Resolution reported by Mr. Bingham. Minority report. Mr.
Bingham s substitute. Substitute agreed to. Speech of Mr. Bout-
well, Mr. Bingham. Resolution passed. Mr. Trumbull s Resolution.
Mr. Trumbull s report. Motion of Mr. Sumner rejected. Motion of
Mr. Doolittle agreed to. Motion of Mr. Trumbull. Mr. Sherman s
preamble lost. Mr. Sprague s amendment. Mr. Trumbull s amend
ment adopted. Speech of Mr. Brown. Resolution passed. Mr.
Conness s amendment. House agreed to the Senate amendment.
Joint Resolution passed. Credentials referred. Report of com
mittee agreed to. 303

CHAPTER XY.

RESTORING THE REBEL STATES TO FULL POLITICAL RIGHTS.
Mr. Stevens report from the Joint Committee on Reconstruction. Mr.
Boutwell gave notice of an amendment. Mr. Wilson s amendment.
Mr. Stevens amendment. Mr. Ashley s substitute for Mr. Stevens
amendment. Remarks of Mr. Stevens, Mr. Baker, Mr. Grinnell.
Speech of Mr. Eldridge, Mr. Scofield. Remarks of Mr. Dodge.
Mr. Raymond s speech. Speech of Mr. Shellabarger. Mr. Sheila-
barge r s substitute. Mr. Bingham s motion. 314

CHAPTER XVI.

CIVIL GOVERNMENT IN LOUISIANA.

Mr. Eliot s report from the Committee on the New Orleans riot. Mr.
Beyer s minority report. Mr. Eliot s Bill for the reestablishment of
Civil Government. Provisions of the Bill. Bill passed. Motion of



CONTEXTS. XI

PAGE.

Mr. Wade. Mr. Sumner s amendment. Remarks of Mr. McDougall.
Remarks of Mr. Wilson. The Bill not further considered. - - 329

CHAPTER XVII.

FOR THE MORE EFFICIENT GOVERNMENT OF THE REBEL STATES.

Mr. Williams Bill. Speech of Mr. Brandegee, Mr. Le Blond, Mr. Inger-
soll, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Thayer, Mr. Shellabarger, Mr. Garfield. Re
marks of Mr. Stevens and Mr. Banks. Mr. Kasson s amendment.
Remarks of Mr. Boutwell. Mr. Biugham s amendment. Speech of
Mr. Kelley, Mr. Allison, Mr. Maynard. Mr. Elaine s amendment.
Mr. Stevens amendment. Remarks of Mr. Schenck and Mr. Bing-
ham. Passage of the Bill. Senate Mr. Williams amendment. Mr.
Wilson s amendment. Mr. Frelinghuysen s motion to amend the
amendment. Mr. Henderson s amendment. Mr. Merrill s amend
ment. Mr. Sherman s amendment. Substitute agreed to. Passage
of the Bill. House Remarks of Mr. Stevens, Mr. Boutwell, Mr.
Blaine, Mr. Bingham, Mr. Farnsworth, Mr. Garfield and Mr. Baker.
Committee of Conference agreed to. Mr. Shellabarger s motion.
Concurrence of the House. Senate. Mr. Wilson s amendment.
Senate concurred. Passage of the Bill. The veto message. Pas
sage of the Bill over the veto. 334

CHAPTER XVIII

TO FACILITATE RESTORATION.

Mr. Wilson s bill to facilitate Restoration. Referred to Committee on
the Judiciary. Mr. Sumner s resolution. Mr. Kelley s resolution.
Report of Mr. Wilson of Iowa. Motion to recommit to the Com
mittee on the Judiciary. Passage of the Bill. Senate Speech of
Mr. Trumbull, Mr. Drake, Mr. Fessenden. Mr. Drake s amendment.
Speech of Mr. Wilson. Mr. Fessenden s amendment. Remarks of
Mr. Wilson, Mr. Frelinghuysen, Mr. Nye. Mr. Howe s amendment.
Mr. Howard s amendment. Remarks of Mr. Morrill. Mr. Sumner s
amendment. Mr. Norton s amendment. Mr. Wilson s amendment.
Mr. Edmunds amendment. Mr. Howard s amendment. Mr. Sum
ner s amendment. Remarks of Mr. Sumner, Mr. Frelinghuysen, Mr.
Stewart. Passage of the Bill. House Remarks of Mr. Wilson.
House amendment considered in the Senate. Remarks of Mr. Wil
son, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Drake, Mr. Norton and Mr. Edmunds.
House Committee of Conference. Report concurred in. The Presi
dent s Veto. Passage of the Bill. 385



Xll CONTENTS.



CHAPTER XIX.

GOVERNMENT AND RESTORATION OF REBEL STATES.

Mr. Wilson s Bill. Mr. Edmunds Bill. Mr. Frelinghuysen s Bill. Mr.
Trumbull reported bill from Judiciary Committee. House. Com
mittee appointed on motion of Mr. Stevens. Mr. Stevens Bill. Mr.
Wilson s amendment. Mr. Benjamin s amendment. Passage of the
Bill. Senate. Bill reported by Mr. Trumbull. Mr. Wilson s amend-
men t. Remarks of Mr. Conkling, Mr. Edmunds, Mr. Howe. Mr.
Wilson s amendment. Remarks of Mr. Yates, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Mor-
rill, Mr. Howard. Mr. Wilson s amendment. Motion of Mr. Howe.
Mr. Drake s amendment. Mr. Howard s amendment agreed to.
Passage of the Bill. House. Report of Mr. Stevens. Remarks of
Mr. Wood, Mr. Logan. The Senate amendment concurred in. Presi
dent s Veto Message. Remarks of Mr. Boutwell, Mr. Butler, Mr.
Stevens. Passage of the Bill over the Veto. - - - 429



CHAPTER XX.

DISBANDMENT OF REBEL MILITIA. ABOLITION OF WHIPPING
AND PEONAGE.

Mr. Wilson s Joint Resolution to disband rebel Militia. Remarks of
Mr. Buckalew, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Lane. Mr. Hendrick s motion to
strike out, agreed to. Remarks of Mr. Fessenden, Mr. Wilson, Mr.
Hendricks, Mr. Willey. Subject incorporated with Appropriation
Bill. Passage of the Bill. Concurrence of the House. Mr. Wilson s
Joint Resolution to abolish corporeal punishment. Reported from
Judiciary Committee. General Sickles order revoked by the Presi
dent. The subject reported from Military Committee in a Bill to
increase pay of Army Officers. Motion of Mr. Hendricks to strike
out, agreed to Inserted as an amendment to appropriation bill and
passed. Mr. Wilson s Bill to strike out the word " white " from the
Militia Laws. Its passage. Mr. Sumuer s Resolution respecting
Peonage. Mr. Wilson s Bill. Remarks of Mr. Davis, Mr. Lane, Mr.
Doolittle and Mr. Buckalew. Passage of the Bill. Proclamation of
the Governor of New Mexico. 460



o-

UNIVE3S




KECONSTRUOTIOK



CHAPTER L

RECONSTRUCTION COMMITTEE.

The 38th Congress expired. The 39th met. Mr. Stevens Resolution.
Mr. Eldridge. Mr. Dawson. Resolution passed. Resolution considered
in caucus Resolution taken up in the Senate. Motion of Mr. Anthony
to amend. Mr. Howard s speech. Mr. Anthony s speech. Mr. Doolit-
tle s speech. Mr. Fessenden s speech. Amendment agreed to. Mr.
Cowan moved to amend. Remarks of Mr. Saulsbury, Mr. EJendricks,
and Mr. Trumbull. Mr. Dixon. Speech of Mr. Guthrie. Amendment
rejected. Mr. Stevens. Joint Committee. Resolution, Mr. Wilson of
Iowa. Mr. Anthony and Mr. Cowan. Speech of Mr. Howe. Mr. John
son s speech. Mr. Doolittle a speech. Mr. Nesmith s speech. Mr. Wade s
speech. Mr. Howe s speech.

THE 38th Congress expired on the 3rd of March,
1865, and the 39th Congress met on the 4th of
December. The intervening months had been
crowded with great events. The rebel armies had
been defeated, and the power of the Rebellion
crushed. The Confederate Government had disap
peared; its armed forces had been captured, pa-
rolled and disbanded , hostilities had ceased and the
triumph of the nation was complete. Upheld by
thousands of bayonets, its flag waved over the sub
jugated states, and hundreds of thousands of vet-



14 BECONSTRUCTION MEASURES

erans had returned to their homes, to engage again
in the productive pursuits of peace.

The legitimate work of armies had ended, and the
crowning w r ork of statesmen had begun. To re
construct the Union, so as to secure the fruits of
victory was no easy task. The enduring interests
of the Nation seemed imperatively to demand that
the equality of rights and privileges of all citizens,
without distinction of race, color or previous con
dition, should be secured and the ascendency of loy
alty assured. This great work demanded patience,
foresight and the highest qualities of statesman
ship.

Had the President, Congress and the loyal peo-
pie acted in complete harmony, the temper of the
people of the rebel states, and the disordered con
dition of these states, together with the emancipa
tion of more than three million slaves, and the
losses, poverty and suffering of the masses, would
have made the work of a reconstruction, which
should bring peace, order, law and security, one of
great delicacy and difficulty. But the task of re
construction had been complicated by the Presi
dent ; he had early entered upon what he called an
experiment, but he soon came to regard that ex
periment as a governmental policy. The Republi
cans deemed the experiment premature, and the
policy wholly inadequate to meet the wants of the
country. That policy had resulted, as the leading
Republicans warned the President it would result,



IN CONGRESS. 15

in the complete ascendency of the rebels. On the
day the 39th Congress assembled, the rebel states
had passed or were passing into the control of men
who had engaged in the Rebellion, and who regret
ted nothing but the losses and the failure of their
cause. In their legislation and administration, they
evinced a determined purpose to keep the men who
had been loyal to their country during the Rebel
lion, from any participation in their affairs, and to
continue the freedmen under disabilities. The
manifest determination of the President to adhere
to his policy, although it was apparently condemned
by the masses of the party which had elected him,
encouraged a spirit of defiance in the rebel states,
that often displayed itself in insult to loyal men,
and in cruel and oppressive acts towards the freed
men.

In the House of Representatives, on the first day
of the session, Mr. Stevens of Penn. asked consent
to introduce a joint resolution; it provided that "a
joint committee of fifteen members shall be ap
pointed, nine of whom shall be members of the
House, and six, members of the Senate, who shall
inquire into the condition of the States which form
ed the so-called confederate States of America, and
report whether they, or any of them, are entitled to
be represented in either House of Congress, with
leave to report at any time by bill or otherwise ;
and until such report shall have been made, and
finally acted upon by Congress, no member shall be



16 RECONSTRUCTION MEASURES

received into either House from any of the said so-
called confederate States ; and all papers relating to
the representation of the said States, shall be refer
red to the said committee without debate." Mr.
Eldridge of Wisconsin objecting, Mr. Stevens moved
a suspension of the rules, and they were suspended
by 129 Yeas to 35 Nays. Mr. Dawson of Penn.
then moved that the Resolution be laid upon the
table, but the motion was rejected, Yeas 31, Nays
133 ; and the resolution was passed, Yeas 133, Nays
36.

This resolution for the appointment of a joint
special Committee on reconstruction, was consider
ed in a caucus of the Republican Senators, and
after a debate in which several Senators participa
ted, certain amendments were agreed to and Mr.
Anthony of Rhode Island, chairman of the caucus,
was directed to move those amendments in the
Senate. On the 12th the resolution was taken up,
and on motion of Mr. Anthony, the enacting clause
was amended so as to make it a concurrent, instead
of a joint Resolution. Mr. Anthony, then moved
to amend the Resolution, by striking out so much
of it, as provided that, until the Committee should
make their final report, and it should be acted on
by Congress, no member should be received in eith
er House from any of the rebel states, and that all
papers relating to the representation of those states,
should be referred to the committee without de
bate. Mr. Howard of Michigan, could not vote for



IN CONGRESS. 17

the amendment. "I think/ he said, "that under
present circumstances it is due to the country that
we should give them the assurance, such as the
House of Representatives has given in the resolu
tion they have sent to us, that we will not thus
hastily readmit to seats in the legislative bodies
here, the representatives of constituencies, who are
still hostile to the authority of the United States,
and unwilling to co-operate with us in our legisla
tion. I think, sir, that such constituencies are not
entitled to be represented here." Mr. Anthony
supposing the amendment would not provoke op
position, had foreborne to state the reasons for
making it ; he agreed with Mr. Howard that it was
eminently desirable that both Houses should act in
concert in all measures for reconstruction, and that
all branches of the Government should approach the
question with a comprehensive patriotism, and all
persons in every branch of the Government should
be ready to concede something of their own views,
in order to meet the views of those, w r ho were
equally charged with the responsibility of public
affairs. The words proposed to be stricken out re
ferred to the joint committee of the two Houses,
matters, which the Constitution confided to each
House separately. " In the watches of this Cham
ber," said Mr. Anthony, "I have often wished that
some divine power would temper the strength of
lungs in the speaker, to the endurance of the ears
of the hearers ; but the opinion of the Senate on
2



18 RECONSTRUCTION MEASURES



Online LibraryHenry WilsonHistory of the reconstruction measures of the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth Congresses, 1865-68 → online text (page 1 of 28)